December 28, 1857
To: Luke Keith, Galesburg, MI
From: Charles R. Cridland, Delaware, KS
He is quite disappointed because the goods that Luke sent only made it as far as Lexington but wasn’t able to go any further because ice closed the river, so now he probably won’t get them until spring. His brother was able to send him a machine from Ohio. He hasn’t made any brooms yet as he is waiting for a barrel, which his neighbor promised to get him, to hold water to dip the corn in. His wife is upset because she hasn’t received her rolling pin, washboard, and other things.
Delaware December 28. 57
I received a letter from you dated Oct 12th in which you stated that you should send the things you had been getting for me in the course of the week. I wrote to you in reply, and requested you to try to do some thing for me in relation to disposing of the stove and furniture I left in Michigan. I have been much disappointed in not hearing anything from you.
The things you sent me met with the same fate which I have so much dreaded, and which I did my best to caution you against but I have no doubt you did the best you could for me, and so it can’t be helped. I wish you had sent me a line at the time you shipd them, for then I should have written to St Louis to have them attended to, but as I did not hear from you, I thought perhaps you did not make out to send them so soon as you expected. I have written to St Louis and find that they were shipd from there on the 12th November and got so far up the river as Lexington when they met the ice and were unable to proceed any further, so the Boat unloaded her cargo at that place, and made haste back lest she should be cought frozen up in the river. So I can not get them until the river opens up in the spring. The river was closed only about a week when the weather changed & it has been open ever since, and a good many boats have since come through from St Louis. Had my things been shipd a few days earlier or later I should perhaps have got them, in order to be sure. My Brother in Ohio had suggested to me that if I could not do better, he would send me a machine from there, and in order to be sure, I advised him to do so. He shipd it on the 12th Nov. and it came to hand about a week ago with _____, twine, wire and 200 handles, but I had given up in despair any idea of its getting here, and I had hunted up a dutchman in Leavenworth who had a foot lathe, and got a band and roller turned and had commenced to get up a machine myself. When I happened to be in Leavenworth and was told that a boat had come up in the night and had something for me, I went on to the Levee and found sure enough it had come at last.
It appears to be an excellent machine. It works with a foot wheel, which is geared to the roller with a band and it is made expressly for brooms which are made with twine and wire both. It cost 20 dollars, and 15 doll freight. The bill of what you sent is $6.10. I am getting dreadful in debt. I had to borrow the money to pay the freight and have not earned but about 8 dollars since I have been here, so I am a good deal behind hand. I have not made any brooms, for a neighbor of mine who promised to get me a barrel to hold water to dip the corn in, did not go to town as he expected last tuesday, but I hope I shall get to work pretty soon now.
As I did not hear from you I supposed perhaps you wrote and enclosed your letter in the box, and as I can not get that till spring I hope you will write as soon as you can. Every time I hear from my wife, she wants to know what has become of her washboard & rolling pin, and things, and I tell her that I have made inquiry several times about them, but some how or other I can not hear any thing about them. I do not know, but you will find her on hand with a pocket full of rocks, some day when you are not looking for her, for she says she means to come and see her old neighbors in Michigan, though she don’t say a word about coming to Kansas. Let me hear from you and let me know what I owe you.
Since the middle of Nov (when we had a cold spell) the weather has been very mild, frost at night sometimes, but warm, and dry. We have had no snow to tell of but once about an inch on the 20th Nov. I was threshing beans yesterday out of doors with out my coat. I like Kansas pretty well yet. I hope you all are well and am your friend
Charles R Cridland
Please let me know what there is in the box and how many handles, if you counted, and what I can get handles for in Galesburg now and in March.